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Mary Ball Washington Museum & Library

A rich connection to local and national history awaits at the Mary Ball Washington Museum and Library in Lancaster.


George Washington's mom & more!
History close up

Mary Ball Washington

The Mary Ball Washington Museum and Library provides visitors an insight into local history that also underscores the Northern Neck’s deep connection to our nation’s history. The Museum and Library, established in 1958, is named for Mary Ball Washington, the mother of the Father of our Country.

Maybe that makes her the Grandmother of our Country!

Mary Ball was born in Lancaster County, just eight miles from the Museum. The Museum seeks to recapture the stories and the rich history of the people of Virginia's Northern Neck.

The Museum’s collections include several historically significant buildings in the village of Lancaster Court House. Every item, every aspect, has a story and a connection proving that history is neither static nor carved in stone. New stories surface, like arrowheads long buried, providing constant shifting of information that gives vitality to history.

The activities include educational programs, exhibits, living history presentations, tours, research and writing.
Executive Director Karen Hart says the Library reopens in February and the Museum will kick off the year with an exhibit for Black History Month. The current Christmas-themed antique toy exhibit runs through January 26.

The old Jail, circa 1821

The old Clerk's Office, circa 1797


“We have a number of exhibits that we plan to display in 2009,” Hart said. “We’re putting the finishing touches on the plans now."

In addition to viewing the exhibits in the Museum’s main building, visitors may also walk the grounds, peering inside the old jail and clerk’s building.

Members of the Lancaster County Women’s Club rallied to preserve the old Lancaster court Buildings from the wrecking ball – The old Clerks office, built in 1797, and the old jail, whose original section dates from 1821.

Together with Lancaster House, dating from 1830, and the Stueart Blakemore Library across the street, this complex of buildings comprises the museum, whose mission is to preserve the history of the Northern Neck and its Families. The museum’s buildings and grounds are accessible through a self-guided walking tour.

Exhibits in Lancaster House are always changing, telling the story of the people of the Northern Neck, through photographs, paintings, artifacts and period clothing.

The museum and library also houses an extensive collection of records, aiding geneologists from all over the region and the nation.

Mary Ball Washington Museum & Library
Post Office Box 97
Lancaster, Virginia 22503
Telephone Numbers
(804) 462-7280
(804) 462-6107 (Fax)
E-Mail Addresses
Museum Main Business Office: Send email
Library and Genealogy Research Center: Send email.

© 2009 NorthernNeckToday.com